Review: Made by Niki

A few weeks ago, I posted about the epic Made by Niki sample sale. I hope you all were able to find some good deals, and if you did buy something I’d love to hear from you. However, that entry reminded me of how long I am overdue for posting my own review of Made by Niki’s luxurious shapewear.

Because I’m talking about my personal experience with Made by Niki, this is one of the rare occasions your friendly, neighborhood Stockings Addict will post photos of herself. In this review, I’ll discuss three pieces from Niki’s original Fresh Foundations line: the sheer knickers, wireless cinch bra, and suspender skirt…all in black mesh and lace. So let’s get started!

All three garments are made from 100% nylon. The bra has cups composed of a lace lower half and a mesh upper half, with a central, adjustable gore allowing for more or less support as you see fit. A bow accent between the breasts and ribbon straps complete the retro-inspired styling, which reminds me of a bullet bra. The panties are made in a similar half-and-half style, with a lace front and fully mesh back. In terms of rear coverage, I’d say the knickers are moderate…resembling a modest Brazilian cut brief.

The suspender skirt contains, by far, the most detailing. It has a wide band of elastic at the top to hold the garment in place above the navel, as well as specially sewn, triangular panels at the front to smooth and shape the midsection. One of the more innovative features of the suspender skirt is the bum lifting band that starts near the low hip and continues around to just beneath the rear. The suspender skirt also has a zip closure, four garters, and extends to about the mid-calf level, depending on your height.

The suspender skirt and knickers are available in sizes S, M, L, and XL with the XL size corresponding to a UK 16 or a US14 according to the official size guide. The cinch bra is available in a range of sizes including hard to find DD, G, E, and F cups. I ordered a large suspender skirt, large knicker, and a 36B bra, and I have a few notes about fit.

The 36B converts to a 36A in U.S. sizing, so I would recommend ordering one cup and one band size up from what you wear if you normally buy American bras. For example, I’m a smallish 34B, so Niki’s 36B was a perfect fit, but if you were a full B cup or between a B and C cup, the Niki’s B would almost certainly be too small. Likewise, if you are in between band sizes, I’d recommend going up one just to be certain. Don’t forget, the cinching gore allows you to take in or let out the band a little bit, if it’s not a perfect fit. The knickers fit roughly true to size, though I’m glad I ordered a large and not a medium. If there’s a significant size differential between your hips and waist (my rule of thumb is 10″), I’d recommend going up one size, just to make sure you have enough room in the seat.

Now we move to the suspender skirt which is one of the most eye-catching pieces of shapewear I have ever seen, and the undisputed star of the Made by Niki collection. I really like this garment, but there are some concerns surrounding size and proportion that I believe other potential buyers should be aware of. My body measurements are 35-28-40″, and most of those 40″ are in my bottom.

The most significant issue I have with the suspender skirt is that it is not made for very curvy women. I’ve worn the piece about four times now, on both “fat” days and “thin” days and I always have significant trouble pulling the zipper up. This problem actually keeps me from wearing the suspender skirt as often as I’d like because I don’t want to rip the mesh with my pulling. If you have curves, you may find the “bum-lifting” band of the skirt to be uncomfortably restrictive. I’m a size US 8, and I feel like I’ve maxed out the stretching capabilities of the large suspender skirt. So, if you’re ordering this piece with the assumption that it’ll fit a US 12 (as indicated on Made by Niki’s fit guide), I’d consider buying an XL (or more).

The other notable issue I had with this piece concerns the placement of the garter straps. I found them to be a bit too low for my tastes. Even tightened as much as possible, the garter straps only come to mid thigh…which means if you buy your stockings to fit higher up the leg (as I do), they’re going to sag and bag rather unattractively. In this case, I recommend wearing stretch stockings, as opposed to 100% nonstretch nylons.

Overall, I enjoy all three of these pieces. They’re expensive, but not ostentatious. Unlike many luxury brands, the construction, detailing, and finishing in these garments make be believe they’re worth the price. I would unilaterally recommend going up at least one size for all Made by Niki pieces or consulting the shop owner for guidance (in my case, Dollhouse Bettie was an invaluable source of information). Especially with the sample sale event going on currently, I think Made by Niki is a great buy.

*All photos by Photognome.

15 Comments

  1. maiddiane
    25/07/09 at 13:58

    Wow! You are a natural beauty, with all of the classic Feminine curves. Simply lovely.

    And – You are the perfect model for all of the delectables that You display.

    More, please!

    diane

  2. Treacle
    25/07/09 at 14:00

    Thank you for the kind words! :-)

  3. Kelly
    26/07/09 at 11:02

    I have loved that suspender skirt since I saw it…it was on sale at Figleaves once, but the picture of it on the Figleaves model looked so awful and unattractive that I decided it was probably terrible in person and I didn't get it. Of course these photos prove that it looks great in person and now I'm kicking myself for not getting it when it was on sale! Arrrghh!

  4. Anonymous
    27/07/09 at 9:17

    Great pics Treacle! :) -EC

  5. Janus
    27/07/09 at 14:14

    Is this the same Photognome that's on LiveJournal?

  6. Treacle
    27/07/09 at 15:03

    Yes it is, Janus.

  7. invie
    04/08/09 at 11:53

    Hi!

    I purchased the suspender skirt from Figleaves during their sale. I found that after a few wears it loosened up. But i guess that happened mostly around the waist/stomach area. The bra looks great on you. Thanks to your review i just placed orders from the bustier and bra. I have a difficult time wiht sizing but lets hope it works out!

  8. Treacle
    04/08/09 at 15:19

    Invie,

    Thank you so much for responding.

    If you want to come back and let us know how Made by Niki worked for you, I'd really love to hear your impressions. :-)

    –Treacle

  9. invie
    13/08/09 at 16:37

    Hello!

    I just received my order today…..and i am sadly disappointed. The only items that fit me correctly were the magic bum (and it was missing a garter strap), thong and shape shorts. Everything else was too large.

    To be honest i do feel a little cheated as i had specified to the person handling my order that my knickers needed to be a size small or UK6. In the end i received three different knickers labeled medium with a sticker on them denoting '6'. I ended up with a mass of fluffy fabric on my derriere and leg openings that were too loose and flared out. Not to mention that one of those knickers were the wrong size.

    To be fair, on a normal person i supposed the knickers would indeed be a US Small but i take a US XS. I ordered what would have been the correct size for me only to get the bait and switch trick.

    In the end i have to ebay out a bustier and 2knicker set in lilac (32B/S) and Satin plunge bra with thong and shape shorts in Bridal (34A/S)

    To clarify I wear 32A bras from H&M /Agent Provocateur, sometimes going up to 32B/34A depending on the cut. the 34A from Made by NIki was waaaaaay too large on the band and the cups were not A cups. The 32B bustier was actually loose all around except for the elastic on the waist. everywhere else, the fabric was loose and pouchy…..My question was how any of the items fit the model as she appears to be very slim indeed.

  10. Sheen V
    15/12/09 at 19:37

    Can I say you're amazing again? You are amazing!

  11. Katie
    16/12/09 at 8:28

    Holy Cats Pajamas you're beautiful

  12. SVCON
    08/01/11 at 3:46

    I order a Made By Nikki set myself, and I have to say I was rather disappointed. This company has absolutely beautiful ideas when it comes to colour, fabric and styling, but lacks the proper construction needed to make this worth my while. I wear a 30G/medium in brands such as Freya and Fantasie. Knowing that this company runs tight, I ordered a 32FF satin wireless bra from the Fresh Foundations line and the matching "magic bum" girdle in large.

    Firstly, I could barely zip the girdle up over my hips. This was with a lot of struggle, and I was very afraid it would rip. Secondly, the "Magic bum" elastic of the girldle was very uncomfortable, and unflattering. Perhaps for someone with a very small bottom this would be more comfortable.

    I was even more disappointed with the bra. The snugness of the 32 band was fine (I like my bands snug). But everything else was off. The structure of the cups gave me what I lovingly called "dolphin boobs." Downward and outward sloping pointed breast. I love a pointy, breast shape, but I want my breasts to be up and held in at the sides (not to brag, but I'm youngish and my breasts are pretty firm for their size, so I can usually rock a bra that is not a full support style). Plus the flimsy ribbon straps twisted and cut
    This bra could have benefited different construction for the larger sizes:
    Side panels to bring the breasts in
    A three part seam cup for more depth
    More angled horizontal seam for better lift
    Ribbon straps laid on an elastic strap base for better comfort/support while keeping the ribbon look

    I was unable to return the garments, and the company was rather unhelpful when I tried to explain the problems.

    I realize this post is LONG, but as a fellow lingerie addict and a former bra fitter, things like this make me mad. I'm glad that Made by Nikki is trying to address sizes above DD, but if they want to sell them, they need to work on their construction and use extensive fit testing on actual busty women. Otherwise it's the same old story "we made bigger sizes and they didn't sell." Maybe they don't sell because they don't fit!

  13. BreastWhisperer
    11/03/11 at 12:56

    I agree 110% with SVCON. I too, found the colour and sexiness apealling in print and photos, but found the fit to be absolutely dreadful. If you are above a US size 6, or above a D cup, this line is NOT for you. The shape of the bra goes beyond "perky"…it is downright unattractive. And this is from someone who actually appreciates a perky breast shape. I couldn't even GET the L girdle over my bottom, Which for the record, wears a size L in everything else, both American and European brands. Also, I found that once in hand…the product seemed to look…really cheap. Very disappointing and I would not recommend it at all.

  14. Mya
    08/01/12 at 3:20

    I purchased Made By Niki’s suspender skirt (also in black) during the Thanksgiving weekend sale and with 40″ hips I noticed the same problem. I received an email letting me know that their sizes run a bit small and would I prefer to have a size 14 sent, instead of the size 12 that I ordered, and which was now sold out, which was superbly nice, and quite appreciated! Having said that, I didn’t find that it was much of a “girdle”, it really doesn’t hold anything in on me, I don’t stretch anything out, except for the “bum lifting” strap, which is a bit too tight, and at an awkward place, for me to feel comfortable wearing the skirt.

    I also ordered, and received, their limited edition Money Bra (http://madebyniki.co.uk/money-bra?cat=rare) and Love Letter Bra (http://madebyniki.co.uk/loveletter-bra-ivory-taupe?cat=rare) both in 36D and though they both state in their write ups that they’re “popular with large cups” I found I hardly stay in either. They’re really not bras I can do any bending or jumping in for I fall out and must be re-adjusted. The half cups just don’t cut it for me. Made By Niki’s pieces are beautiful, and I’ll probably purchase a few more, just in case I find something that works but, so far I’m a tad disappointed.

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